Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 13, 2016

Business & Politics

NAHB seeking to boost wood imports from Chile as builders struggle with lumber prices

Construction Drive
September 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The softwood trade agreement between Canada and the U.S. expired last October, and the two nations are currently in a one-year “cooling off period,” during which no wood-related trade disputes can be lodged. In addition, the two countries announced in June that despite more than three months of “intense negotiations,” they were unable to reach a new agreement. The NAHB reported at the time that the main point of contention was the fact that the U.S. wanted to reduce Canada’s share of the market to 22% over a four-year period. Therefore, the U.S. delegation’s recent trip to Chile will surely be seen as a signal to Canada that U.S. builders don’t intend to limit their options in seeking sources of affordable softwood.

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U.S. forestry set to pull trigger on new softwood war

By Gordon Hamilton
Business in Vancouver
September 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Canada and the United States are on the brink of yet another softwood lumber war, fuelled by a drastic jump in B.C. lumber exports to the U.S. and growing anti-trade sentiment. American sawmillers say they are ready to fire the first shot in what would be the fifth lumber trade war since the 1980s, if negotiations now underway don’t result in an agreement by Oct. 12, when a one-year standstill on trade action expires. … With no deal in sight, the influential U.S. Lumber Coalition lobby group has assembled an entire office full of documents against Canada’s lumber industry, which it plans to submit to the U.S. government after Oct. 12. That will likely kick off a chain of events that will result in duties being applied to Canadian lumber by next year.

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Potential buyers for mill, Tolko says

By: Kristin Annable
Winnipeg Free Press
September 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

THE PAS — Several potential buyers are scoping out Tolko Industries. No one — from the company, the mayor of The Pas or Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen — would identify those potential buyers Monday. Tolko said it has received preliminary inquiries from several entities for its facility in The Pas.  Jim Baskerville, a vice-president for the Vernon, B.C.-based Tolko Industries, said in a statement the company is checking on the “viability of proposals” as they come forward, but cannot “provide any speculation regarding ownership scenarios at this time.”

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Northern consortium to take over Port of Churchill, rail line, chief says

Provincial cabinet ministers, First Nations, businesses discuss how to save The Pas Tolko paper mill
CBC News
September 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After weeks of layoffs and business closures in the north, The Pas and Churchill got some good news Monday. Talk of partnership dominated meetings in The Pas Monday as union officials, mayors, business owners, First Nation leaders and provincial cabinet ministers discussed how to avoid a job loss crisis and the looming closure of the local Tolko paper mill. Chief Arlen Dumas of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation said the meeting was historic and probably one of the first times in recent history that everyone with an interest in the mill sat down at the same table to chart a path forward. …Scott said it’s possible a consortium could form to take over the Tolko paper mill and Hudson Bay rail line in The Pas.

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Tolko closure looms as Manitoba cabinet ministers visit The Pas

By Sean Kavanagh
CBC News
September 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Time is running out for the mill in The Pas as Progressive Conservative ministers visit the northwestern Manitoba town that faces the loss of its biggest employer. The 300 workers at the Tolko paper mill in The Pas learned in August that the B.C.-based company plans to shut down operations on Dec. 2. Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Cliff Cullen will sit down today with community leaders from around the region. They will brainstorm about what to do as they face the imminent closure and the loss of the $37-million payroll.

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Businesses regroup after Biomass fire

By Damian Mann
Mail Tribune
September 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Whether sawdust fire led to burning buildings still being determined—A fire that may have started in a sawdust pile at Biomass One Sunday evening damaged three businesses, forcing an insulation company to set up shop elsewhere and temporarily shutting down a wood manufacturing business. Dave Fosenburg, operations manager for Petrochem Insulation Inc., said firefighters quickly put out a smoldering roof fire on his modular office building. He said firefighters covered equipment, and he was able to set up operations at his White City home. “It would have definitely burned to the ground,” he said. “I would have been devastated.”

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SFPA: Southern pine lumber exports increased by 31% in July

Lesprom
September 12, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Exports of Southern Pine lumber remained at a hefty level in July, amounting to just over 59 million board feet (MMbf). This volume represents a big bump of 31% above the same month last year, contributing to a significant year-to-date increase of 14% when compared with the first seven months of 2015, as the Southern Forest Products Associationsays in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Offshore shipments during July roughly break down as 30.1 MMbf dressed, 12.5 MMbf rough, and 16.6 MMbf treated lumber. Softwood lumber imports to the U.S. remained steady in July, reaching 1.4 billion board feet (Bbf), up 36% from the volume imported during July of 2015.

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Sawmillers brace for price rise with Forestry Tasmania restructure

ABC News, Australia
September 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Tasmanian sawmillers are facing dramatic price increases as the finishing touches are made to a government overhaul of the loss-making Forestry Tasmania. The Liberal Government came to power promising to stop propping up the ailing state-owned enterprise with taxpayer funds, and is currently finalising a restructure. Sawmiller Matthew Torenius will have to pay more than 10 per cent extra to continue getting timber from Forestry Tasmania, and faces further increases every six months.  “It’s always difficult to accept large price increases in inputs into a manufacturing business and we’ve had to look at the structure of our business.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Tree Houses: Is Wood Really The Future Of Skyscrapers?

By Laurie Winkless
Forbes
September 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The plyscraper. That’s what everyone’s calling the latest trend in urban architecture. Now officially approved for construction in Amsterdam in 2017, a 21 story, 73 m (239.5ft)-tall structure – named HAUT by its architect, Team V Architectuur – should become the world’s tallest wooden-framed building. But they might have a race on their hands. PLP Architecture and University of Cambridge researchers have their own project in mind – at 300 m (984ft) tall, their Oakwood tower – proposed to form part of the Barbican estate – would dwarf HAUT. Tall wooden-framed buildings are proposed for other cities too, including Stockholm’s Trätoppen, the Baobab in Paris, and Vancouver’s rather-descriptively named Tall Wood Building. So why the move to timber? Well, believe it or not, a lot of it is to do with sustainability.

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For the love of strings and wood

ABC News, Australia
September 13, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Aaron Fenech is a Gold Coast based guitar-maker. His handcrafted guitars are sought after around Australia and internationally. Aaron started work as a builder before studying environmental science. He began making guitars as a hobby in his garage but as his passion for Luthiery grew, Aaron took the plunge, ditched his public service job and began making guitars full time. … John looked around Europe for guitar workshops and decided that Australian timbers were what he wanted to work with. “I’m lucky enough to have a number of guitars and I wanted something that was totally different from what I had before,” he said. Aaron uses a selection of Australian timbers in his guitars, sourcing the timber sustainably from within a 250-kilometre radius of the Gold Coast.

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Forestry

Toad Talks: annual migration hot topic at AWARE Green Talks

By Megan Lalonde
Whistler Question
September 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Although the migration of western toadlets from Whistler’s Lost Lake happens every year, this year’s journey proved unique. The migration period was longer, and a new route chosen by the tiny toads prompted the municipality to close Lost Lake Park, as well as its parking lot and access road, for the first time. As part of the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment’s (AWARE) Green Talks Series, local biologist Kristina Swerhun from the Whistler Museum’s Discover Nature Program was on hand on Wednesday (Sept. 7) to help shed some light on this year’s notable migration and answer some community questions about the toads. About 20 people attended the talk, held at the Whistler Museum.

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Planet at the crossroads: IUCN World Conservation Congress takes unprecedented action to save the planet

By Sustainable Forestry Initiative
TreeHugger
September 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Over 10,000 of the world’s leading conservationists came together at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress last week to take immediate action against aggressive goals set by 200 nations in 2015. Participants include heads of state, policymakers, CEOs, leading scientists and highly influential non-profit organizations, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). According to IUCN Director General Inger Andersen, “No IUCN Congress before has come at a more pivotal time for humanity’s relationship with the environment.” The historic gathering, themed “Planet at the Crossroads,” took place from September 1-10 in Honolulu.

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Hemlock trees under threat by invasive pest, the woolly adelgid

Forests of Eastern Canada are susceptible as pest is already eating through trees in neighbouring U.S. states
CBC News
September 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The woolly adelgid, an invasive pest that infests and eventually destroys hemlock trees, has made one incursion into Eastern Canada and biologists say it’s likely to turn up again. Like the Asian long-horned beetle and the emerald ash-borer, it’s a foreign invader that’s threatening forests in Eastern Canada and the urban tree canopy. The first sign of hemlock woolly adelgid is often a white woolly mass at the base of needles of a hemlock tree, says Erin Bullas-Appleton, a plant survey biologist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The tiny insect, less than 1.5-mm long, produces a wool-like wax to protect its eggs, which are usually deposited on the underside of hemlock needles at the tips of the branches.

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A Cohesive Vision

Interview with Dylan Kruse
Evergreen Magazine
September 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dylan Kruse is Policy Director for Sustainable Northwest, a Portland-based conservation group specializing in organizing and managing grass roots collaboratives that work programmatically in forest, water, range land and energy conservation and development. Founded in 1994, the non-profit Strives to identify common ground among rural and urban stakeholders. It currently assists 33 collaborative forest restoration projects in Oregon and Washington. …Mr. Kruse is a Lewis and Clark College graduate, and holds a degree in International Affairs. In this interview, he answers questions concerning Sustainable Northwest’s forestry programs.

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Researcher: California’s albino redwoods filter soil toxins

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
September 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO – A researcher may have figured out that albino redwoods — long considered freeloaders — contribute to the health of California’s deep green redwood forests by clearing toxins. The trees appear to act as a liver or kidney, filtering toxins from the soil around them, San Jose researcher Zane Moore, a doctoral student at UC Davis, told The Mercury News. Zane has analyzed the needles of the redwood leaves in a lab and found that they contain high levels of the toxic heavy metals nickel, copper and cadmium. “They are basically poisoning themselves,” Moore told the newspaper. They appear to be drawing away and storing pollution, some of it occurring naturally in the soils and some left from railroads, highways and other man-made sources that otherwise could degrade or kill redwoods.

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The Living Landscape: The Valley fire’s impact of the landscape one year later

Lake County News
September 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Registered Professional Forester Greg Giusti answered some questions relating to the effects of the Valley fire of September 2015. I asked, “Do you know how many trees have been sent to logging mills, and where the mills are located?” Giusti replied, “ Logs have been harvested from both public (Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest) and private lands. The logging is not yet complete so we won’t have a final count until sometime next year after the Board of Equalization puts out a report. But at the height of the logging (June through July) Boggs Mountain alone was shipping 100 log trucks per day. They expect to remove between 45 to 50 million board feet of timber. Boggs is sending their logs to Mendocino Forest Products (Ukiah), Sierra Pacific Industries (Lincoln) and Collin’s Pine (Chester). Most of the private logs are being exported to China.”

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Editorial: Judge focuses on essentials in timber suit ruling

Albany Democrat Herald
September 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It is but an early step in a long legal journey, but the Linn County officials who are suing the state over the management of state forest trust land had to be pleased with Linn County Circuit Judge Daniel Murphy’s ruling this week. …Despite objections from state lawyers that the class would be too unwieldy, Murphy concluded that the requirements for a class-action suit apply, but added that it is premature to certify the class. If the suit survives the summary judgment phase, the judge wrote, then certification would be appropriate. Murphy also swept aside a variety of motions from the state asking for the case to be dismissed.

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Tensions flare at fire meeting

The Saratoga Sun
September 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A mix of anger, gratitude, resignation and curiosity was aswirl in the air of the Grand Encampment Opera House Sept. 1. About 75 people packed into the historic building for an informational presentation on the Beaver Creek and Broadway Fires burning south of Encampment, and tension was rife among some attendees. …Despite saying they had done their best to suppress the blaze early on, it was evident that several of the responders saw the flames as providing some benefit to the largely beetle-killed area. The fire, Fullman and Hagan noted, was burning in a “mosaic” pattern that would allow for fast regeneration of the forest. “It’s not 37,000 acres of black trees. Actually, within that area there’s probably 20 or 30 percent that didn’t even burn at all,” Giller agreed.

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Forestry keeps Natural State growing

By U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman
The Sentinel-Record
September 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Last week, Sen. John Boozman and I embarked on a tour of our state’s multibillion dollar forestry industry. The Seed to Sawmill Tour brought us to six counties across south Arkansas where we were able to see tens of millions of seedlings beginning a life cycle that will lead to sustainable use of our forests. We saw sustainable harvesting of timber and its final production into building materials and so much more. The Seed to Sawmill Tour also took us to the U.S. Forest Service’s Experimental Forest in Crossett, where we learned about years of research that continues to help us have healthy forests.

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Bulgaria’s pine forests threatened by bark beetle

Reuters Africa
September 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BREZNIK, Bulgaria, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Pine forests planted in Bulgaria to combat soil erosion are falling prey to a beetle that is feeding on trees already weakened by excessively hot weather, dense planting and a lack of proper logging in the years after the fall of communism. More than 7,000 hectares of pine forest in the Balkan country perished due to bark beetle attacks in August alone – an area three times bigger than in previous years, said Tsenko Tsenov, the director of Bulgaria’s forest agency. The beetle problem concerns pines planted on around 680,000 hectares of land since the 1950s at lower altitudes than they grow naturally to help fight soil erosion.

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The man who ?thinks trees talk to each other

Beech trees are bullies? and? willows are loners, says forester Peter Wohlleben,
The Guardian
September 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Trees have friends, feel loneliness, scream with pain and communicate underground via the “woodwide web”. Some act as parents and good neighbours. Others do more than just throw shade – they’re brutal bullies to rival species. The young ones take risks with their drinking and leaf-dropping then remember the hard lessons from their mistakes. It’s a hard-knock life. A book called The Hidden Life of Trees is not an obvious bestseller but it’s easy to see the popular appeal of German forester Peter Wohlleben’s claims – they are so anthropomorphic. Certainly, a walk in the park feels different when you imagine the network of roots crackling with sappy chat beneath your feet.

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Forest Fires

California turns to civilians as inmate firefighters dwindle

Associated Press in The Catoosa County News
September 12, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  — Faced with a shrinking pool of inmates to help fight major wildfires, California is increasingly turning for new recruits to its state Conservation Corps, a program with roots in the Great Depression and a motto that promises “hard work, low pay, miserable conditions … and more!” Prisoners last year made up about 20 percent of California fire crews on several major blazes, where they used chain saws and hand tools to chew through tinder-dry brush and trees to stop the flames.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Appeals Court Rejects Complaints Over Air Permit for Biomass Cogen in California

Renewable Energy World
September 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept. 2 denied a petition for review of a decision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granting Sierra Pacific Industries a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit for construction of a new biomass-burning power plant at its lumber mill in California. The panel held that the EPA did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in granting this PSD permit to Sierra Pacific. …Addressing petitioner Center for Biological Diversity’s claims raised in response to the supplemental greenhouse gas BACT analysis, the panel deferred to the agency’s determination because EPA was largely relying on its own guidance, acting at the frontiers of science.

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